For almost every problem in the business world, there’s a software solution with the answer.
Years ago many businesses relied on custom software to meet their needs. For example, while a hospital would use a standard ERP system for basic accounting, the ERP wasn’t sophisticated enough to handle complex medical billing transactions. As a result, hospitals turned to custom medical billing software.
But that has all changed.
Do You Need Custom Business Software Today?
Today, hospitals have an array of out-of-the-box business software solutions specifically created to address their complicated billing needs, so the need for custom application development has diminished greatly.
This is good news, as custom software is expensive and often more difficult to maintain than off-the-shelf or software-as-a-service products.
However, there are still some scenarios where a custom solution may be the best option, such as the following:
You Spend Too Much Time On Needless Manual Data Entry
Manual data entry wastes personnel time and opens the door for making mistakes in the data entry process.
If you find that your organization is spending too much time on data entry that should be automated, start by verifying whether your current business software is capable of automating the task. (Often, the full capabilities of ERP systems go underutilized.)
If the answer is “no,” consider a custom business software solution.
Your Business Has An Incredibly Unique Need
Your business is probably unique, but not so unique that the way you do business is remarkably different from most other organizations. Out-of-the-box software (perhaps specific to your industry) is likely to meet 95 percent of your needs.
For the remaining 5 percent, you might need to turn to a custom module or add-on that addresses the last piece of the puzzle. This custom add-on should be integrated into your ERP software rather than an independent system.
Custom solutions today are specific to very unique functionality that isn’t easily addressed another way. For instance, while your ERP system is capable of doing commission calculation, you may need to pay commission to a single salesperson multiple times for a sales document (i.e., pay them once as the sales rep and once as the sales manager). For that specific task, you might turn to a custom software solution designed to function within your ERP system.
When Don’t You Need A Custom Business Software Solution?
Most of the time, out-of-the-box software and relevant add-on utilities will meet your needs. You should not consider custom software if:
- You need a solution right away. Custom application development takes a lot of time.
- Your business pain points are largely addressed by an already existing software solution.
- You’ll gain no competitive advantage by using a custom solution.
How To Get More Out Of Your Current Software
If you’re not taking full advantage of your ERP system, or if you think it’s missing functionality that would help your business, it’s worth speaking with a professional business software consultant to discuss your options.
Admiral Consulting Group offers free business software consultations to help organizations find a path to a more effective workplace.